Christians Compete to Win Church of England Social Media Contest After #GodWithUs Reaches 6.8 Million

After the Church of England's #GodWithUs Advent and Christmas social media campaign reached 6.8 million people, the denomination is now bringing together 50 Christians with experience in digital communications to pool ideas for new apps, websites and more social media campaigns. Suggestions from only two of them will be selected.

The contestants, who have been drawn from all over Britain, will put forward their suggestions to a high-level panel of judges on Feb. 24, according to Anglican News, which said the panelists "have been chosen for their knowledge of digital, creativity and understanding of the breadth and depth of the Church of England."

The objective is "to ensure the Church of England is a growing Church for all people and all places," Adrian Harris, head of digital communications, said.

"We're delighted with the combined knowledge and experience our judging panel brings to Church of England Digital Labs," Harris added. "I'm really excited to hear the creative ideas on the day that will help us develop our digital evangelism and discipleship offering."

The panelists include James Poulter from the LEGO Group, BBC senior digital producer Lynda Davies, the Dean of Winchester, Catherine Ogle, and the artist and theologian Siku.

#GodWithUs, the theme of the Church of England's 2017 Christmas campaign, was designed to share a Christian message with the public, encourage people to attend their local church for a service or event in December, and to encourage people to take part in its Your Christmas Journey reflections.

"Thanks to the collaboration across local churches, dioceses and national church bodies, the campaign had a reach of 6.8 million," Harris said. "Some people may have seen the content more than once, but our research suggests this overall figure is due to our targeted social media advertising and the appeal of the Your Christmas Journey reflections course."

According to data released by the Church of England last year, an average of 930,000 people, 14 percent of whom were children, attended weekly worship services during October 2016.

The smallest 25 percent of churches reported no children attended on average.

Church of England spokesperson Anna McCrum told The Christian Post at the time that the denomination does have a way to reach children, as it educates approximately 1 million youths in about 4,700 schools.

"These pupils are from all faiths and none and the provision of education is for the common good. Our pupils take part in collective worship and are educated in a Christian environment," explained McCrum.

A survey commissioned by the Church of England found last year that only 6 percent of British adults are practicing Christians.

The ComRes survey found that the reported decline of Christian believers in the U.K. might be even steeper than suggested, as 55 percent of the faithful admitted they never read the Bible. Another 33 percent said they never attend church, while 29 percent said they never pray.

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